Trinity ISD board votes to allow trained staff members to carry guns on campus

Updated: Jun. 27, 2018 at 6:31 PM CDT
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Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

TRINITY, TX (KTRE) - The Trinity Independent School District has joined the 173 other Texas school districts that allow certain trained staff members to carry guns on their campuses.

The school board also approved a motion that would create a Trinity ISD police department.

Trinity resident Christopher Dennison said he attended the school board meeting on Monday not as a retired firefighter, but as a grandfather.

"I've worked in the school system," Dennison said. "I've made calls to the school system, and I've seen a lot of things, tragic and otherwise, with the kids."

Dennison said he believes the board's decision to add a police force at Trinity ISD will help identify potential threats sooner.

"We talk to our kids about, you know, going to the authorities or letting someone in authority know when something's going on," Dennison said.

While the creation of the police force is awaiting approval by state authorities, Superintendent John Kaufman said he's already at work to improve campus security in other ways.

"We are having controlled access at all of our exterior doors," Kaufman said. "We're going to educate our teachers and students more on proper procedures for lockdowns."

Kaufman added that even though schools are only required by the state to have one lockdown drill every six months, he plans on holding one every other month.

"As a superintendent, I have a responsibility for the whole district, to keep the whole district safe," Kaufman said. "Not only the teachers and the students but also any other visitors that we may have in there."

The school board's decision will allow designated staff members who have received special training to carry guns on the TISD campus.

Dennison said he believed this increase teachers' stress.

"And, I'm just not quite comfortable yet with the teachers being armed," Dennison said. "They've got enough on them already."

In the end, he said the community just wants their schools to be secure.

"If it makes our kids safe, let's do it," Dennison said.

If the police force is approved by the state, the superintendent hopes the department will begin their duties this fall.

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